Published on : 19 September 2023, 7:34 am
Hangzhou – Although the Asian Games officially kicks off next Saturday, the football matches begin tomorrow with India opening against hosts China. With this match, Indian superstar Sunil Chhetri will become India’s captain for two consecutive Asian Games.
In 1951, Sahu Mewalal scored three goals in the final to win the gold medal in football. It is curious whether Sunil Chhetri will do the same alchemy this year. He will be the third captain for India to play two consecutive Asian Games. This feat has been done earlier by Salian Manna (1951, 1954) and Baichung Bhutia (2002, 2006).
Sunil Chhetri and Sandesh Jhingan also played in the 2014 Asian Games at Inchon. There is a feeling that playing in the Asian Games means that you are not just playing for a team but representing the entire country’s sports field.
The Indian team is capable of producing some shocking results in this tournament. Every player in the team is well-prepared and will be led by Vikramvir Sunil Chhetri, the confidence of the players will be boosted, said Joe Paul Anchery, who played in two Asian Games (Bangkok 1998 and Busan 2002).
21 teams are participating in the men’s football tournament. India is included in Group ‘A’. China, Bangladesh and Myanmar are the other teams in the group. The top two teams and the four best third-placed teams from each group will qualify for the semi-quarterfinals.
Playing the opening match against the host team is always challenging. So India will have to play with everything. As India’s group matches are held two days apart, physical ability will also be tested.
India League Match Schedule
September 19 vs China (5 PM onwards)
September 21 vs Bangladesh (from 1.30 pm)
24 September vs Myanmar (5pm onwards)
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